Impact on Birds and UK
I wonder what it will take before the world truly wakes up to the horror, the corruption, the expense, the pointlessness, the total wrongness-in-every-way of the wind industry. My guess - and it will happen - is the decapitation, by a rogue turbine blade, of an innocent passer-by.
Nowhere is this more true than off the coast of Norfolk, where Ed Davey has just made one of those life and death decisions that come with the high office of Energy Secretary. Shockingly, he has decreed that guillotining 94 shaggy-crested terns a year is acceptable, even if you have no plans to put them in a sandwich.
The location of the wind farm in question has been determined already, and is a function of water depth, shipping routes, connections to the grid and other such constraints. There is little margin for change to accommodate migrating birds, and all we may expect as a result of the bird study is the symbolic displacement of a few turbines in the plan. But the study is interesting in that it reveals the shortcomings of the science that deals with wind-farm impacts on wildlife.
A feature of these supposedly environment-friendly machines that I haven't mentioned, however, is their devastating effect on wildlife, notably on large birds of prey, such as eagles and red kites. Particularly disturbing is the extent to which the disaster has been downplayed by professional bodies, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Britain and the Audubon Society in the US, which should be at the forefront of exposing this outrage.
This is the first breeding success at this site in 11 years. The parent eagles must have been pampered with plenty of live rabbits to make sure this would happen. All in all, two million pounds have been spent to produce a "success story" at Beinn an Tuirc. So much money is at stake here: the approval of hundreds of wind farms where eagles fly, in Scotland and in the world, hinge upon this kind of favourable publicity.
I am extremely concerned at the detrimental impact the construction of wind turbines on the land adjacent to High Elms Lane, Benington could have on wildlife.
It is well known locally that this site supports a large and varied wildlife and many of the species are of national and international importance.
It has taken a long time and sympathetic farming to encourage so many species to thrive in this area. A total of 26 mammal species (not counting bats) and 75 bird species have been recorded around the proposed wind farm, along with various amphibians and reptiles.
Introducing a few mountain hares near Beinn an Tuirc wind farm, at a cost of £30 each, is certainly a cost-effective way of getting good publicity for ScottishPower (your report, 24 March), but the question is will it do anything for the resident pair of golden eagles? ...Put simply, a well-located wind farm poses little danger to rare birds, but I have seen no evidence to suggest mitigation is effective, except of course in generating good PR.
Britian's biggest conservation charity, the Royal Society fir the Protection of Birds, announced Wednesday (February 20) that is was about to start issuing maps of important bird-flight routes in the North of England to help planners decide the future sites of wind farms.
The first map will cover Cumbria with others on Morecambe Bay and the Lancashire coast to follow. ...
We could get these monsters in the Dales because we are ordered to have them by the European Union. Its bureaucrats never listen to what people say because they consider us a mere nuisance. But they do pay attention to the environmentalists. With a bit of luck, the RSPB will say that these plans would cause too much bird kill - and we Dalesfolk could be saved!
Shetland holds almost half of Britain's breeding red-throated divers. A survey of breeding red-throated divers in Shetland, carried out in 1994, found only 389 breeding pairs, a 40 per cent decline since the previous full survey in 1983. Shetland holds approximately1.5 per cent of the British breeding population of merlins, approximately 20 pairs.
Consultation is on going to reduce the impact of the development especially on the breeding red-throated divers, which are considered to be particularly liable to collision with wind turbines. ...In the words of the RSPB: "The RSPB views climate change as the most serious threat to birds and their habitats, and sees renewable energy as one way to alleviate this threat. However, it would be entirely self defeating to advocate building wind farms right in the middle of our most important wildlife areas." ...Anybody that thinks developments like this are acceptable obviously don't care less about the wildlife and natural environment around them.
Remember that the threat to birds is a very small (but highly significant) part of the whole Shetland windfarm issue. If we include the negative effects on tourism, house prices, visibility, noise, quality of life, peat disturbance, run-off, environmental quality, Shetland's wilderness - as well as debatable CO2 savings, the need for 90 per cent fossil fuel back up due to intermittence and the doubling of the price of electricity (Denmark experience) it is hard to understand how the project has got past first base.
Last week at PM questions, an English MP succinctly summed up the situation with windfarms. He said 'windfarms are being opposed by local people but being imposed on them by the authorities'. This is exactly what is happening in Shetland. It has to be stopped.
New Scientist's report on the large number of bats succumbing to wind turbines reinforces a common misperception - that the blades move slowly (12 May, p4).
It is true that the blades of older, small wind turbines rotated rapidly and so would appear to a bird or bat as a semi-solid disc to be avoided.
Modern 2-megawatt wind turbines make an apparently lazy 10 to 20 revolutions per minute, but the blades are around 40 metres long.
Simple geometry shows that the blade tips travel at between 150 and 300 kilometres per hour.
For a bird or bat in misty weather, these aircraft-sized blades appear from nowhere at intervals of between 2 and 4 seconds, a scenario that even a fighter pilot would find alarming.
The RSPB argues that it supports the use of wind power in general as long as projects are sited, designed and managed so they do not significantly harm birds or their habitats. Concerns on this score have led the RSPB to object to 76 windfarm proposals (on and offshore) between 2000 and 2004 and to raise concerns about a further 129. (It does not indicate how often it has decided to raise no concerns).
In raising objections, the RSPB would argue that it is simply exercising its legal rights and representing its one million members to ensure that planning decisions are made with due consideration for the environmental impacts - the Lewis peat bogs, for example, are designated as of European importance under the Conservation of Wild Birds Directive and have the highest populations of dunlin and golden plover in Europe.
Windfarm developers would argue that the biggest threat to bird populations remains global warming and that perhaps the RSPB has its priorities wrong.
SIR - As a keen bird watcher, I am a regular visitor to the Knowstone area and was alarmed at the proposal to put up massive wind turbines in the Batsworthy Cross area.
The area is totally unsuitable for such a development. Has anyone considered how dangerous these structures would be to drivers on the busy A361? They would be an extremely hazardous distraction at such very close proximity.
It may be the time to consider how wind farms fit in with the values which the Wilderness Society represents. If the Society is prepared to go through such a prolonged and worthy fight to save the forests, with all the financial and emotional costs involved, it would be consistent to regard wind farm development with the same scepticism with which it regards the wood chip industry. Both are potent adversaries to the values which I hope we share.
There are many reasons to reject the building of wind farms anywhere in Britain. A search of the internet provides ample evidence of the environmental destruction of large areas of the countryside through the installation of turbines and infrastructure. Trees and hedges cut down, roads, pylons and electrical wires installed.
However, one of our major concerns is the mounting evidence that wind farms are causing the deaths worldwide of tens of thousands of bats and birds, including many endangered species.
A wind farm in Germany is being shut down because of the deaths, in particular of red kites.
There are now 10 dead WTE found at Smola since August 2005.'’ (dated October 2).All soaring raptor and many large slow-flying bird are at serious risk, having no natural defence against 100mph blade tips.